OER (Online Educational Resources) refers to free resources available on the internet, which can be used for educational and research purposes. These are digital resources which usually include books, course readings, and other educational content such as quizzes, simulation, and games.
Online Educational Resources have their content issued under an open license. These resources are typically collected from individuals or educational institutions, who make their course materials public or free-to-access. Some can only be used in their original form. In other cases, it can be re-distributed and improved but under some license.
In 2002, MIT initiated the Open Course Ware project, which has now become one of the longest-running OER initiatives featuring around 2000 MIT courses. Over a while, we have also seen many similar OER initiatives such as Lumen Learning, Khan Academy, and many more.
By providing students, professors, and educators with new access to such untapped educational materials, OERs have the potential to encourage innovation for effective learning. With so many OER available on the internet, the user can go through the long list of resources to find what fits their needs. With time, these resources will only increase. OER has opened a platform that can enable a new style of teaching and learning.